Our little corner of Arlington, Virginia has always been special, which is what drew us here more than 14 years ago. But over the past year or so it's come to feel even more like home, since we got our very own farmers' market!
Every Sunday morning we have the opportunity (though we are sometimes too lame to take advantage of it -- Yes I admitted that just now) to walk just a few blocks to a colorful assortment of fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables. We mingle with friends and neighbors while strolling among the stands offering meats, eggs, artisanal bread, spice packets, cheese, etc. We try our best to walk quickly past the donut truck and on to the healthier fare! It is rare and special to be able to chat with the people who grow our food, see them interact with their Earth-wise children, and know where some of our food budget is actually going. Carrying our heavy armloads of bounty home is also part of the health benefit!
I am spoiled by the fresh corn on the cob, beans, tomatoes, carrots, peaches, plums, tiny little zucchinis that you don't have to peel, eggplants, garlic, salad greens, okra, butter beans, etc. that we can get in the summer! It reminds me of the sunny days in Mississippi when my father would tend the large garden that connected our back yard to my grandmother and grandfather's back yard and how, at the magical point in the year, we would harvest bushels and bushels of snap peas, butter beans, tomatoes, corn, potatoes -- I don't think there was anything my dad didn't know how to grow. I remember seeing countertops full of tomatoes ripening through the summer while we did our best to eat them all in time. I also remember shelling butter beans as a pastime while watching daytime t.v. with my brother and sister because there were so many to get through. Sometimes the whole family would grab a bag for hulls and a bowl for the beans and go to work, our fingers on autopilot from all the practice. I loved eating the occasional raw bean (still do!). As it is with so many of the blessings I've had in my life, I don't think I knew to pause and appreciate all that bounty at the time as much as I should have.
Today as I was shucking the corn on the cob for my traditional after-farmers'-market lunch, I was struck by the simple, sublime beauty of each and every thing we brought home today. I realized we are absolutely blessed with this abundance and that I have the opportunity now to be deliberately grateful for this blessing. I was inspired to create a series of still life "portraits" in their honor and was so transfixed gazing through the lens at these little beauties that I also realized I have finally stumbled across the topic of my inaugural blog post. So here we go. Thanks for reading!
Live, Love, Learn,
(P.S. The images featured here are also available to view and purchase in a gallery.)